It was one year ago today that the hockey world was rocked by the tragic news of a plane crash on the banks of the Volga River carrying members of team Lokomotiv of the Kontinental Hockey League. Former Wild forward Pavol Demitra was one of the 43 people who lost their lives in the tragedy.
Reporting on events such as Lokomotiv is one of the most difficult things to do, especially when it involves people that you share a kinship with.
No, I didn’t know Demitra. In fact, I never met him. But we shared the common bond of hockey. There were parts of his game that I borrowed, or at least tried to. After watching Demitra swing out wide to the right as he approached the goaltender in a shootout and then firing a wrist shot low to the blocker side, the move was immediately tried the next day in practice. It was my final year of playing in the minors and every time I successfully attempted the move, it was credited to Demitra.
September 7 will always carry a weight of sadness throughout the hockey world, but we can continue to honor the players who lost their lives in this tragic accident in our own way. WildTV has created a video tribute in honor of Demitra, here. Also, NHL.com reported on how team Lokomotiv is honoring the lives lost in the tragedy, here.
For me, it will always be swinging out wide to the right and firing a wrist shot low to the blocker side: The Demitra.